Start, Suzuka, 2016

Hamilton mistake caused slow start – Lauda

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton’s slow getaway in the Japanese Grand Prix was his own mistake, Mercedes’ Niki Lauda confirms.

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How else would @jensonbutton_22 get his pearly whites?

A video posted by Daniel Ricciardo (@danielricciardo) on

Comment of the day

Rumour has it Nico Hulkenberg is considering a switch from in-form Force India to struggling Renault:

I think it makes sense – Hulkenberg has another five or six years in F1 (seven years if he goes until Button’s age).

Considering he isn’t getting a Ferrari, Mercedes or Red Bull seat, moving to a factory team who have plans (and more importantly, funds) to move up the grid seems like the best chance he has of winning anything. Force India are having a good season this year but this is about as good as it’ll get for them.


Niki Lauda, Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff, Paddy Lowe, Andy Cowell, Mercedes, 2016
Niki Lauda, Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff, Paddy Lowe, Andy Cowell, Mercedes, 2016

Mercedes celebrated their third consecutive constructors’ championship triumph at their factory in Brackley yesterday.

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On this day in F1

Gerhard Berger and Benetton took their first victory on this day 30 years ago at Mexico City, while Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet and Alain Prost went into the final race in contention for the championship.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 95 comments on “Hamilton mistake caused slow start – Lauda”

    1. Great photos of Mercedes celebration.

    2. It was nice to see that Lauda always said what he thought especially after reading Autosport article stating that team owner should not afraid to criticize their driver.

      1. Too bad it doesn’t match Toto Wolfe’s statement in terms of what happened. So is Niki mis-informed, spouting what he thinks instead of what happened or actually correct?

        Who knows. The water is so muddy now you can pick it up and fling it at others. Now unless someone blows the whistle in future years, we’ll never know.

        1. Lauda always likes to blame Hamilton for some reason. Seems like every time after he blabbers he gets informed that he only got half the story and he does see that he was (partially) wrong again and tends to retract his stories the next day.

          It’s clear that the initial getaway is pretty much 100% on the start system. Only after a half a second to a second can you start blaming the driver. As both Wolff and Horner explained for their driver’s bad starts. So in this case clearly both messed up.

          Although, if the clutch would just work properly from the getaway the whole start goes a lot better. When you start off with wheel spin or a bogged down engine you have to recover from that instead of already being propelled forward perfectly from the start position.

          1. I second this . The way the ‘clutch’ works in these drive-by-wire systems is nothing like the old fashion mechanial systems most people still have in mind when they hear the word ‘clutch’. These days so much happens in the software. It would be useful to have the software made as transparent as it can be without compromising the teams compromising their advantage, just so people like us have no grounds for speculations. Otherwise its all about trust, with the likes of Nicki ‘need to know’ Lauda, taking everything he is told on face value.

            BTW – Any thoughts on SnapchatGate?

            1. Shame i can’t edit this ;(

        2. Too many copntimemls too little space, thanks!

      2. @ruliemaulana
        The problem with Lauda is that saying what one thinks isn’t a value on its own. There’s that famous man from America, who says he has ‘the best words’, he seems to say what he thinks all of the time. And it’s horrible.
        Lauda may fall short of that, luckily, but what he says generally doesn’t reflect great mental complexity.
        One has to bear in mind that he’s a sort of talking head for Mercedes, but not really involved in the important decisions, which is why his statements often differ radically from what other team representatives say, or from what happens afterwards, or have to be corrected later.

        1. You folks are so eager to shoot down Lauda for calling the start a mistake by Lewis, that you have forgotten that Lewis himself said sorry on the radio not long after the start. Would he have said that if it was a mechanical issue? I don’t think so. Perhaps show Lauda some respect as a F1 Champion and icon and a member of the team that has been helping LH to wealth, fame, and glory these recent years. He’s a member of a team that LH wanted to be a part of and that has made him hugely successful. As fans of LH perhaps you could try to imagine what LH himself would say to you if he were to hear you talking about his friend this way. Sure, feel free to disagree with him of course, but LH would expect quality fans of his to do so respectfully.

          1. @robbie
            “You folks are so eager to shoot down Lauda …”

            Wrong, wrong, wrong. I am not. Not even remotely. What I write is about Lauda, strictly and only about Lauda himself. If I had wanted to say anything about Lewis, his name would be somewhere in my post. Or at least a clear allusion to him. But there isn’t, so I didn’t.
            In fact, what I’m saying about Lauda, I’ve been saying since before Lewis was a teenager (well, minus the Mercedes bit, obviously). He’s been a pundit on german F1 broadcast for almost as long as I can remember, so he didn’t suddenly become relevant to my perception of F1 when he began his stint as a “non-executive” chairman, but some 15 years earlier. Plenty of time to study how much, if any, attention his statements deserve. For the most part, his opinions could safely be ignored.

            Also, counting me among the fans of Lewis is wildly inaccurate? How inaccurate? Well, off the top of my head, I can only think about four people in this business whom I might be less inclined to defend from (probably) fair criticism: Vettel, Räikkönen, Horner, Ecclestone.
            I am not defending Lewis. He might’ve screwed up his start single-handedly, or it may have been the excessively tricky handling of the clutch that turned his approach into a mistake retrospectively. I don’t think it really matters. I’m just saying that there are good reasons not to base one’s own assessment of the incident off Lauda’s statements. Because he tends to be one of the least reliable pundits in the paddock.
            That was my message, and I think every bit of what I said corresponds to my first post. Any other interpretation is not my fault.

            1. Ah damn it. I made the quote too short, so now it looks as though I’m contradicting myself. The quote I wanted to refer to was the following:
              “You folks are so eager to shoot down Lauda for calling the start a mistake by Lewis”

            2. @nase Fair comment. You’ve expressed your opinion further and confirm you discount Lauda. His opinion is meaningless to you, but I think likely not to the Mercedes team, and in this case he was right, hence Lewis’s apology right after the bad start. Niki would have heard that too and assumed correctly LH must have erred. Odds are Niki is right sometimes and I would say likely more often than not. Sometimes it might be Toto who chooses a more gentle, politically correct way of not throwing someone under the bus for the sake of keeping a calm steady atmosphere. Sure they’ve had issues with the clutch, but in this case Lewis left little doubt as to what happened.

    3. Just saw the photo taken by PeterJFox at Degner1 and wondered: Who really needed new technical regulations? This is awesome!

      1. I agree, that was a phenomenal shot.

        The only thing in that photo that puzzled me was the floor was sparking on the right (unloaded) side.

        1. Hydraulically interconnected suspension. The same principle as FRIC. However, this application controls the roll instead of pitch.

        2. Add to it pitch as well, under acceleration rear end sinks a bit. Photo is taken after apex…

          1. Cheers, Boomerang 👍

        3. It was sparking on the left, but since the car is also moving left on corner exit the sparks fly out of the right side.

      2. The current cars seem to be using relatively soft suspension to generate grip. In mexico when the cars were going around corners it was common to see them lifting the inside front tire off the ground when coming out from the turns. It does look cool but the thing is these modern day f1 cars generate most of their lap times on the straights. They are slow in the corners (by f1 standards) which also makes them physically effortless and easy to drive. Next year the cars will go around corners a lot faster which should also mean we get more shots like this.

    4. 19. Jenson Button (up 8)

      Even in the ‘Power Rankings’ one can end up well beyond number 22.

      1. #gridpenalties

    5. Mercedes playing down the importance of Hamilton’s petulance last weekend. Not a surprise really. But I don’t think that internally they didn’t care or talk about it with him.

      1. @BasCB Because Mercedes know it’s Hamilton’s feedback that makes their cars great, look at the 2013 season what jump foward Mercedes made when Hamilton joined the team but i bet you where not watching F1 back then..

        1. @concalvez00 Yes, Hamilton desgined the hybrid engine. He made all the drawings for the front and rear wings. Hamilton personally assembled the gearbox and he himself decided on the width of the monkey bar. C’mon drivers can give a certain amount of feedback and indeed some are better at it than others but don’t act like Hamilton had any influence whatsoever on the 2014 car.

        2. Oh, you got me there @concalvez00. Never saw a race before 2007 myself. I guess apart form the decade following F1 from the early 90’s watching the likes of Senna, Prost, Mansell etc. Yeah, as @xtwl mentions, the genius of Hamilton really changed that team. For sure he did far more to work on the team than Schumacher and Rosberg ever did when Mercedes bought the team – we all know neither of them are any good at developing a car, don’t we. And he certainly dwarfed the likes of Brawn, Lowe, Bob Bell and many others too with his epic feedback.

          In reality Hamilton far more often changed to use the setup that Rosberg worked in at in FP sessions during their spell together at Mercedes than the other way round. And while at McLaren the feedback the team got from Button was often of more use than that from Hamilton because Lewis is able to drive around issues while Button suffered.

          Lewis did make the right choice in joining Mercedes just when the team was getting at a point to be a regular contender and certainly in time to have a championship winning car at his disposal. But I wouldn’t say that he somehow had the critical influence in developing it. Rather he is the driver that made it work for the team with great driving.

          1. @bascb Read my reply too @xtwl

          2. Button cannot setup a car even if his life depends on it, Button knows this, Ruben Barrichello confirm this and it was glaring during the 2012 season. When Lewis joined Merc 95% of F1 followers moaned and criticised Lewis for leaving a winning team because of Money, Ron Dennis said Lewis wont win a race again, Button said this is the place for me, that Lewis is making a mistake, all the pundit said the same. Nico relies on Lewis’s data, and Merc have a policy of data sharing, that’s after FP2 Nico studies the data overnight and bang the car on pole, Lewis learnt how to setup his car when Alonso hid his data from Lewis…

            1. @Ola Laguda Spread the truth. Hence McLaren was very poor in 2013 season because they had to rely on Button for it. People also questioned Hamilton’s IQ etc. That’s i don’t buy it that Hamilton is unlucky with his car right, it simply doesn’t make sense

          3. @bascb LOL Hamilton using Button’s set up. When you come up with these argument i know you have very little knowledge of F1 mate, let me ask you. What happened in Canada 2012 ?, that all i’m asking you. Hamilton never used Button’s set up. In fact McLaren gave Hamilton’s mechanics to Button just like Mercedes did gave Hamilton’s mechanics to Rosberg.. LOL Hamilton using Button’s set up, don’t let me laugh..

            1. Did you know that the first man on the Moon was actually Chuck Norris?

          4. The only times Hamilton uses Rosberg’s setup is when they were both doing half of the work and it turned out the direction Mercedes had Rosberg test worked out better.

            Or when Hamilton didn’t get to run in free practice because his car was broken down or was busy getting new engines every session.

            1. @patrickl Ssssshhhtt Don’t say it, some don’t gonna like it when you say the truth haha.

            2. He used ROS setup on Saturday in Japan in 2016…

            3. @The Duke, In Japan the same as the last two years Lewis uses a race setup whereas Rosberg uses a qualifying set up..

        3. Do you really think that Michael Schumacher wasn’t enough qualified to give proper feedback and hence direction of development. Think again!

        4. I thought it was schumacher who made the mercedes great and hamilton has just been taking adventage of the maestro’s work?

          1. @socksolid Then ask your self why Mercedes was nowhere from 2010 to 2012 ? @boomerang Yes i really think because Schumacher didn’t like simulator, it made him sea sick.

            1. Mercedes wasn’t on top because of Adrian Newey.
              But Mercedes were developing their car from ’10-’12. With Rosberg and Schumacher’s help.
              FYI, You can insert any 2 drivers into that Mercedes and one of them will win the WDC. It is the car and package that is the winning combination.

            2. Mercedes were using the same engine as McLaren from 2010… so tell me what was Schumachers input because if am correct even Renault was ahead of them, even the first half of 2013 Merc were overheating their rear tyres

          2. True, Schumacher and Rosberg put in the work for developing the car. Hamilton benefits from the work of these 2 for sure.

            1. @dbHenry Then tell me what improvements Rosberg and Schumacher made before Hamilton joined… I think your conclusions comes from that you don’t like Hamilton i think, that’s why you have difficulties accepting it. If Rosberg and Schumacher’s input was so great how come they barely made any progress before Hamilton came in and all of a sudden when Hamilton comes in and suddenly the car make leaps forward ?. Mercedes was on the verge of leaving F1 as a factory team and would supply engines only, mainly to McLaren but Bernie made a deal if he could sign a high profile driver for them (Mercedes) that they would stay and Mercedes agreed. Hamilton was signed and Mercedes build a state of the art new simulator which Hamilton began to use and comparing the MP4-27 to the W04 and told the engineers where to improve, the back of the car and there was huge gains from Hamilton’s input.

            2. Guccio, how do you figure it made leaps with Hami, gains were made before Hami walked in the team. He stepped in BECAUSE of these gains…Merc courted him away from McLaren with this knowledge, and Hami had the knowledge of where McLaren were going with Honda. Pretty simple really.

    6. Careful Keith. You have Verstappen first and Ricciardo sixteenth. This won’t go down well.

      1. It looks like Eurosport does not give points for banter on instagram.

    7. Why was Hamilton on the HARD tire after the first pitstop and not on SOFT tires like Rosberg ?

      1. because the Mercedes team want a German champion that’s why. They have stuffed Hammy all season

        1. What you’re really saying is that the only reason Ham won the last two WDC is because Mercedes let him.

          He didn’t earn it. I actually agree with you, thanks for confirming you feel the same way.

      2. Mercedes had planned to give him a longer middle stint and then maybe put on the softs for a shorter stint with some overtaking @concalvez00. But they changed plans reacting to the stops of the Red Bulls and Kimi.

        1. Rosberg had softs only for his FIRST stint, just like almost everyone in the field. No need for him to go faster, it was far better to just keep track position and drive ahead on the hards.

      3. @concalves Did you even watch the race? Or are you looking to make up some facts to make your favorite driver look better? He was bad last weekend. Deal with it.

    8. If I was Hamilton I’d be slating the team more as they have messed his title challenge up big time….

      1. how correct you are, words like they want Rosberg to be champion spring to mind.

        1. Look, I have always hated how outside happenings can decide a championship in any sport, even for my own teams. People looked at me like I was crazy, when going off about a call that went the Dallas Cowboys way against the Detroit Lions in a playoff game. I’ve gone on record stating Hamiltons reliability problems have also cost him this years championship. I’ve even said complete dismissal of conspiracy isn’t a great idea either but I don’t believe it to be so. All this said, Les, explain this overall conspiracy to me, whether it be the team or just one or two guys acting on their own or outright incompetence.

          Where are you’re thoughts on this?

          1. Btw that call sealed the Lions fate and they lost the game due to incompetence of the referees.

            1. I’d argue, in the case of that Lions/Cowboys game, if there was a conspiracy, it would be the case of a few people in on it. Those few being the refs turning the tide at a critical moment. That I can believe, seeing it is a proven fact in football (round ball variety). Profit driven rigging/cheating is a spectre that looms worldwide over pretty much all sports.

              In F1? Who knows, its so complex, full of money and powerful people that anything could be true re conspiracy.

              On a side note, it looked to me like Hamilton thought his season was over when his engine blew in Malaysia. Whether that’s because he knows Rosberg is too good to reign in easily/at all from that point, or if it was because the reasons he stated, or both, who knows. Of course that’s just my take on his behaviour in interview to the media at that race.

          2. If you want to call it conspiracy then so be it. You could call it team orders, or team micro management, or just good business.

            After Lewis won last year, Rosberg had a sudden run of ‘good form’. It could be that Lewis was taking his foot off the throttle, it could be that he didn’t wish to humiliate Rosberg. Whatever the reason, no one question the sudden good form that Rosberg came into, and so with that presedence the new season started.

            The run of ‘bad luck’ at the start of the season wasn’t really questioned by the media, it was simply reported as is. When Lewis was allowed to race, he turned that around. The rest of
            us were now looking forward to a closer run contest. If i were a betting man, i would i might have regretted any bets placed with Rosberg 43 points ahead.

            Now we have this latest run of ‘bad form’ with more ‘poor starts’ to be taken on appearances, as old media find cause to beef with new media.

            If Hamiliton took this all on the chin, or his stiff uppper lip, and didn’t drop hints then i would be truely wondering about a conspiracy. At least he is now on record, for future historians to look back on with a question or two.

            Meantime there is the farce of media coverage to endure. Is this still a sport, man against man, machines against machines, or another form of scripted entainment?

            1. I’m flabbergasted to find some people are this dumb and choose to speak.

            2. Since i can’t reply to BJ, i’ll reply to myself.

              Rosberg will win this year’s championship and Lewis already knows this. This is not because Rosberg is the better driver, but because Rosberg represent the ideal ‘brand image’ for Mercedes. This isn’t just about F1.

              That in my opinion is the bottom line. Rosberg needs a Championship win to become this advertiser’s wet dream. When he wins Rosberg will become the personification of the Mercedes brand in a way that ‘playboy’ Hamilton can never be.

              Hamilton may do GQ and Esquire very well, but what the Mercedes so desperately requires is that settled stabled smiling poster boy of the Mercedes Luxery brand. To that end the powers that be will move heaven and earth, and nothing will get in their way until this happen. Maybe after that we will get back to racing.

              This i would place under the title ‘good business’

      2. @Damond85 True and people pretending that Rosberg upped his game, please…

        1. Or even better yet are the ones who pretend Hami is a racing god, incapable of losing… ever, so everything must be a conspiracy.

          1. @dbHenry Of course Hamilton can loose but how Hamilton is loosing right now is not a fair way, you yourself can see that right or what ?.

            1. @Damon85 You do realize it is a team effort, right? Lewis said sorry on the radio right after blowing his start in Japan. When something goes wrong either by his hand or the team’s the whole team suffers, right? This isn’t Lewis vs. the team. They do not exist strictly to make him successful. 1500 people on the team and untold millions of Mercedes employees and fans globally, feel it too. That is why Mercedes put together a letter denying the conspiracy theorists theories after LH said the team swapped crews ‘for no apparent reason,’ earlier in the season. Implying some conspiracy wasn’t fair for LH to do, but life, and racing, is far from always fair.

            2. Well Robbie, who said it’s the whole team that are playing funny games?

              Of course there’s nothing ever underhand about F1, Singapore 2008 was nothing but a conspiracy I guess….

            3. Guccio, Not fair that Hami can’t get off of the line at the start? All is fair… there is no conspiracy. Rosberg will be a WDC. And a very well deserved and earned WDC. Beating a team mate in a fair fight throughout the season in a field dominant car. I see no way that there is some sort of unfair way you refer to.

              I like how you turn that around too, “Of course Hamilton can loose but how Hamilton is loosing right now is not a fair way, you yourself can see that” , saying one thing then implying conspiracy. There is no conspiracy, there is no unfair way in which Rosberg is winning. Rosberg is winning…period. Get over it.

    9. The group picture with the three cars is depressing to me. It reminds me of the sorry state of affairs where very few females are going into engineering jobs. It’s always been this way, but maybe the balance will significantly shift still in my lifetime…

      1. They certainly are a diverse bunch…

      2. On the topic of the picture (but not your comment) – that picture reminds me of just how much I hated their 2014 cars’ nose.

    10. Rosberg has been the same as the last few years it’s just Hamilton has had a nightmare season, what a poor year it’s been…

    11. Nice balanced well written article by Martin Brundle, shame not all journalists can’t produce the same.

      1. Well balanced article? Really?

        Reading the article Brundle was more empathetic towards the journalist more than anything else, when he refers to their families, mortgage and livelihood. Why did he not mention that some of what the media wrote was indeed disrespectful and their reaction was OTT? Also some of his word choices were poor.

        “Lewis is a lucky boy”… boy??

        1. Because Murdoch pays his bills.

        2. He’s certainly no man, no man would park their car and risk losing the results an entire team worked for in Monaco 2015.

          Thank god a man got on the radio and reminded a boy to bring the car to the podium ceremony.

          Not before the boy threw his temper tantrum from the whole world to see by smashing the position marker….

    12. Brundle (and to a degree Davidson and Kravitz) really do carry the entirety of Sky Sports F1 on their shoulders.

      1. @craig-o Yeah. We might not like a pay to watch channel like Sky, but certainly they give their anchor a lot of freedom to color the program in and out race weekend. What missing is Davidson track vs drivers technique review article.

    13. What’s up with the bitterness in the comments section today? Chill out people.

      I am quite curious to see Vandoorne and Alonso together next year, will Alonso be as cooperative as Vandoorne thinks? Especially if he starys losing to him. McLaren are in a upward trend, everydody knows that if next years car is good enough for podiums at least the intra team battle will spice up, let see how their relationship develops then.

    14. From Toto:

      “”Our first assessment is that it didn’t function well on the clutch release, dumping the clutch, but that is an over-simplification,” he said.

      “It’s a complicated mechanism to deploy and it didn’t function today.

      “The damp line was, of course, a problem for everybody who was on the right side. You can see [Daniel] Ricciardo [starting fourth behind Hamilton] also didn’t get the start right and he lost a position.

      “Positions one-three-five [on the dry side] were ahead after the first couple of corners. That was a problem and it’s a shame.”

      When’s Lauda going to call it a day?

      1. On the other hand Hamilton did have the worst start of the right side group. So he must have done something worse than the others.

        But yeah, it’s a bit ridiculous to pretend it was only Hamilton’s fault.

      2. Thanks for the quotes, much appreciated.

      3. Eh, but I think most of the cars right behind Hamilton ran into trouble mainly because of Lewis not getting away, so they had no where to go before other cars from behind swamped them.

    15. Why does Alonso’s mask look more like Keanu Reeves in his longer-haired days than Alonso?

    16. 5 of the articles in today’s round-up are about Hamilton’s pressgate/snapgate/whatever.

      Mercedes have to admit – despite closing down the WCC (and the WDC confirmed for one of their drivers), they’ve still got the media’s eye firmly on them, thanks to Hamilton.

      As it is said: there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

    17. On an unrelated note:
      I use the ‘Driver Power Ranking’ as a key indicator for my observations on infernal meteorology: The day Nico Rosberg climbs to 1st will be the day when hell freezes over.


    18. About SnapChat….

      Ok the pictures weren’t as cool as we are use to seeing from fashionisto slash musico Hamilton. This was more ‘uncle Lewis’ snapchating back to his extended family, making light of another day at the office. What we had were mobile addons presets photo montages. Now if only Hamilton had posted yet another picture of the press as pack.

      The fact that it was done in real time with the attending press baying for a different kind of story, is suppose to be the issue. How dare he not simply answer their questions? Of course the press reflex are based on the idea an ‘image’ to up hold, instead of an image for their mutual advantage.
      Whilst there is an argument based on maintining the image of a multimillion pound industry, their reactions was more about the press and the kudos they gain with the title F1 reporter.

      As i see it, this was old media vs new media. Old media with its pompus time wasting charades, vs the multi-tasking, real-time, ‘in your facebook’ new media. If only the old media weren’t such stick in the muds, they would seize the potential to be part of the new, curtasy of this walkup call.

      You have this old format of drivers as gladiators. Cartoon champions like those you see in the animations, on display being interogated before the all powerful media. The packs of hungry toothless hounds keen to serve judgment on the mental states of these latter day knights before the next big joist. Each driver as superego must sit and wait, sit and listen to his rival’s answers, sit and contain himself twiddle his thumbs in between being asked the same excruciating questions. What would Chuck Jones have made of this show, i wonder?

      You have to remember in their ‘day jobs’ these chaps are multitaskers of the highest order, yet they are expected to sit and bide their time. As Hamilton says, that same opportunity could be used to speak online to fans, by answering questions posed on the new media. The press would have their cake with the extra information on view. Instead they scoff at this attempt. I guess these junos need to justify their travel expenses.

      Ideally you would have topical questions raised online by knowlagable fans, the jounalists could select and present the most interesting of these, with a system in place for the drivers to contribute by also highlighting questions they would like to answer.

      Who knows, now that we have American sponcers, this other way of presenting the sport might come sooner than we think. Meantime there is the status quo, begging the question will the old media catch up?

      Carpe diem

      1. And then there’s the thought that as a result of Hamilton’s reactions to the media’s reactions, Hamilton now has an excuse to not do post race interviews, just as Mercedes wanted in the last race.

        Of course not even Hamilton is that clever, to out smart the media and publicise his own recently released smartchat filters. :)

      2. I love the table setting (using those tiles was inpl)rationasi! I noticed also the mismatched table and chairs (dark table/white chairs) particularly because I’m in a serious dilema what to do with my own kitchen set. I’m leaving the table top its current rich brown wood – the bottom and chairs are currently black and I’m thinking of painting them cream. Trouble is I’m not sure if I should just paint the table and leave the chairs alone. Your post gives me room to ponder!!

    19. Regarding Boullier’s comment on this engine “spec” plateauing, according to Wikipedia the thermal efficiency of the average car engine is between 25 and 30%, meaning 70 to 75% of the energy that could have been obtained from the fuel is lost as heat. The current hybrid engine specification used in F1 is far more efficient than previous engine formulas used in F1. I heard the TV commentators once say it uses half the fuel compared to the V10 engines, yet current lap times are very close to those of the V10. If the current fuel flow restrictions were applied to a V10 engine powered car then all of the current cars would leave it in the dust.
      We now hear the Toro Rosso drivers complaining that their 2015 engine is lacking power compared to their competitors, and this was expected at the start of the season. However, the lesson from their complaints is the 2016 hybrid engines have improved purely in terms of thermal efficiency. We know this because all cars have the same fuel flow restrictions, so the difference between the 2015 hybrid system and the current hybrid systems comes down to how the energy in the fuel is extracted.
      I don’t think the power output plateau will be as obvious as maybe Boullier suggests because with a 70% of the potential energy in the fuel being lost as heat then there is a lot of room for improvement. The difficulty is extra efficiency costs money.

      1. @drycrust
        The figures you’re using – 25 to 30 % thermal efficiency – are correct, as far as road cars etc. are concerned, but in the early stages of this season, Mercedes issued press releases stating that their F1 engines had reached a thermal efficiency in excess of 45%, so that already reduces the potential by quite a bit. I found this article ( that looks like it’s based off the same press releases I had in mind. It mentions Mercedes targetting 50% in “the next couple of seasons”, so roughly a 10% (not percentage points, mind you) improvement over what they’ve got now.
        To put things into perspective, their 2014 combustion engine – according to Lauda – initially delivered some 580 bhp. In the meantime, the power output has purportedly risen to more than 800 bhp – an increase of almost 40% over less than 3 seasons, compared to a 5% annual improvement for the next two seasons, if one is to take “a couple of seasons” literally.
        Consequently, the annual rate of improvement at Mercedes will slow at least by a factor of three, if not more. That’s not yet a plateau, but the slope has already very noticeably decreased.
        And this development is showing on the track. It’s common knowledge that Toro Rosso currently have the least powerful engines, which used to be the second strongest in 2015, not too far behind Mercedes. So it’s clear to see that there’s still a lot of development going on. But, the rate at which engine development progresses is a lot slower for Mercedes and Ferrari than it is for Renault and Honda. Last year, it was obvious that the Honda PU was not even remotely competitive, sometimes other cars would simply accelerate past a McLaren on a straight without any need for DRS or even a slipstream. This kind of difference between any two engine specifications simply doesn’t exist anymore.

        1. Thanks for the reply. I wasn’t aware the Mercedes engine was that much more efficient than the average road car.

    20. Miss Direction
      13th October 2016, 2:20

      I’ve read these current ICE’s are already close to 50% thermally efficient. The diminishing returns as they approach the maximum possible creates the plateau.

    21. Ah, Niki “Lewis-Hamilton-is-stupid” Lauda pipes up again, roasting his own driver in the process. You have to love the old rogue – he hates Lewis and doesn’t let pass an opportunity to paint Lewis as an incompetent idiot.
      Only surprise for me is that Jackie Stewart hasn’t emerged from some blackhouse to call Hamilton even more colourful names and question the champion’s intellect.

    22. Niki Lauda already gave the title for rosberg.saying that Lewis wont catch him ,blah blah. again mentally trashing Hamilton who had experienced all the misfortunes this season .still believe in karma that Hamilton will prove them wrong.

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